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Tuesdays, April 9 – April 30, 6 – 8pm


Jennifer Bartlett. Air: 5 a. m. (detail), 1994. Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Art by Women Collection, Gift of Linda Lee Alter. © Jennifer Bartlett and the Jennifer Bartlett 2013 Trust

$220; members $198
(4 classes)

About the Class

Inspired by PAFA’s winter 2024 exhibition Artists as Cultivators and taught by its curators, this course examines the relationship between nature and American identity in paintings, drawings, prints, and sculpture.

In the 19th century, American artists turned to nature as a symbol for nationalist expansion and progressive ideals as they grappled with the impacts of industrial expansion, environmental extraction, and suburban development. How do artists engage with nature when cultivating discourse and delivering critique? The course will provide an introduction to American impressionism and the garden movement, a discussion of contemporary artists as cultivators, and an exploration of the themes in Artists as Cultivators—connectivity, curae, and convergence.

The class is online-only. More about online classes.

Barnes classes will:

  • Increase your understanding of art-related concepts.
  • Increase the ways you think critically about art.
  • Improve your ability to communicate about art.
  • Deepen your appreciation for cultures and histories outside your own.

See all classes.


Jennifer Bartlett. Air: 5 a. m., 1994. Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Art by Women Collection, Gift of Linda Lee Alter. © Jennifer Bartlett and the Jennifer Bartlett 2013 Trust


Anna O. Marley

Marley is chief of curatorial affairs and Kenneth R. Woodcock Curator of Historical American Art at PAFA. A scholar of American art and material culture from the colonial era to the present, she holds a BA in art history from Vassar College, an MA in museum studies from the University of Southern California, and a PhD from the University of Delaware. At PAFA, Marley has curated more than 16 exhibitions, including the major touring shows Making American Artists (2022), The Artist’s Garden: American Impressionism and the Garden Movement (2015), and Henry Ossawa Tanner: Modern Spirit (2012).

Leah Triplett Harrington

Harrington is director of exhibitions and contemporary curatorial initiatives at the PAFA. She was previously a curator at Now + There, in Boston, where she facilitated the Public Art Accelerator and organized large-scale public art commissions. Her writing has appeared in ArtNet News, Sculpture, Public Art Dialogue, Flash Art, Hyperallergic, and the Brooklyn Rail. She taught MFA painting and sculpture students at Boston University from 2021 to 2023.

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